Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The December 12 Curse

December 12 just doesn’t seem to be a great day in our family.
Flash back to 2002 – my water broke and I went to the hospital, delivered The Boy 2 days later 6 weeks before his due date.
2003 - Getting ready for Pat's neck surgery
2004 - Can't remember, but there must have been something
2005 - Had my amnio with Bitty Girl the next day, worried about a bad ultrasound
2006 - Complete blur, I'm sure someone had a tantrum
2007 – The Boy, almost 5 years old, is up all night throwing up, after Bitty Girl had her own barf-o-rama the two days prior.

The Boy is five. So many changes in the last year, evidenced by the comparison of his birthday and Christmas lists.
2006 list, which fits on the front of one page
Dinosaurs, bike with training wheels, scooter, skeleton model with body parts, watch, Spiderman costume, Red Power Ranger costume, Playmobil traveling farm, Darth Tater Mr. Potato Head

2007 list: (three pages long): condensed version includes:
Star Wars: various battle packs, action figures, light sabers, books, and videos
Power Rangers
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: various costumes and action figures
Bionicles: Red, Green, and black
Books: Dinosaurs, Superman
Knight and dragon figures
Robot hands from the museum store

So there you have it. At Nearly-Four, he was just beginning the transformation (to use one of his favorite action figure lines) into a full-fledged, marketed-by-Target-and-Toys-R-Us preschool boy! Now at Five, he’s deep, deep into it. And my attempts to thwart it are getting weaker by the minute. I just don’t have the energy, nor do I want to make something so forbidden that it becomes his one-track obsession.

But every time I hear angry words or see some violent act, I can’t help but wonder….am I encouraging it? I’ve read the studies, but I’ve also seen how boys play guns with sticks, straws, and their fingers, in the absence of any violent toys or television.

On one hand, I am SO proud of the boy he’s becoming. He is smart and funny, helpful, loving toward his sister (most of the time), curious and interested in the world around him, dramatic, assertive, strong-willed, tall and thin—all muscle and bone, talks non-stop, and you can see the new ideas and bits of knowledge exploding in his brain.
On the other hand, he’s bossy, quick to get upset, very impulsive, whiny—especially to Mama, loud, constantly badgering us with questions or requests for toys or treats, complaining that someone else has a better house or toys or life or parents, slow to warm up in a new situation, and not easily adaptable.

I’ve said it before—I am alternately delighted with him and completely annoyed with him. I either have this overwhelming rush of love for this amazing creature I helped create, or I want to run screaming from the house to get away from the World’s Most Obnoxious Boy.
I guess that’s the charm of being Five…

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